NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Thursday that the Jets are finalizing a contract with veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie, according to a team source. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the team is also close to signing former Chargers safety Marcus Gilchrist to a four-year contract, according to a team source. Gilchrist is expected to sign on Friday.
Cromartie, 30, spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals after a four-year run with the Jets. Cromartie will re-team with Darrelle Revis to give the Jets one of the most formidable corner tandems in the NFL. Revis told reporters during a late-night conference call on Wednesday that he was planning to recruit Cromartie.
"I'm going to get in contact with him very soon and try to convince him to come back and join our Batman and Robin tandem that we had a couple of years ago," Revis said, according to ESPN.com.
Gilchrist, 26, spent his first four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, starting all 16 games each of the last two years. He has five career interceptions.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has aggressively rebuilt the Jets' secondary, easily the team's biggest weakness in 2014. Cromartie's play fell off by the end of his last season under Rex Ryan in New York, but he looked healthy and revitalized playing under Todd Bowles in Arizona. The Jets' hiring of Bowles played a major role in Cromartie's decision to return to Gotham.
How quickly things change. The Jets went from a bare cupboard in their secondary to a virtual log jam with Revis, Cromartie and Buster Skrine all added in the first week of free agency. The moves raise the question of the future of Dee Milliner, the 2013 first-round pick who is coming back from a torn Achilles.
Revis and Cromartie give Bowles an ideal set of corners to operate the coach's aggressive, blitz-heavy scheme. Look away, Rex Ryan.